Ryan Moore is Kempton bound this evening with two very warm chances and aboard likely favourite Aberlady in the 6f Fillies’ Maiden. Sir Michael Stoute’s well-bred filly made a promising debut finishing third at Newmarket last month however the form of that contest lacks substances and instead overlooked for Zahrat Narjis (7.50) with Tony Hamilton replacing Moore in the plate. The daughter of Exceed and Excel made a promising debut at Wolverhampton when far too green to ever land a blow. Despite finishing fifth last time out at Ascot she was sent off a well-backed favourite and with the form of the race going strength to strength can make it third time lucky this afternoon.
Charlie Longsdon’s Java Rose returns to the flat after a successful stint over hurdles and is a fascinating runner in first-time head-gear. She boasts obvious claims under Adam Kirby, as does Albonny who won the corresponding race last term, however Gale Force (8.20) is open to the most improvement and gets the nod to score at the belated fifth time of asking under Freddie Tylicki.
James Fanshawe’s filly was progressive in maidens last season finishing fourth twice at the track over a mile and a half before an excellent second on her handicap debut at Doncaster. She made a pleasing reappearance last month chasing home Echo Brava at Goodwood staying on strongly in the closing stages and looks the ideal type to improve further now upped in trip further.
Henry Candy’s Spring Fling would be a confident selection to reward each-way support were it not for her draw out in stall eleven and as such Acolyte (9.20) can make it fourth time lucky this term from the plumb draw in stall one. Roger Charlton’s son of Acclamation has made the frame in all three starts this term, chasing home both Rio Ronaldo and Mullionheir in competitive handicaps at Windsor either side of finishing third at Lingfield Park under James Doyle. The gelding shed the maiden tag over course and distance last term and looks well-placed to make it 2/2 at the track under William Buick.
Paul Hanagan is Wolverhampton-bound this afternoon and rides Lamyaa for Charlies Hill and boss Sheikh Hamdan in the 9f Fillies’ Handicap however fellow handicap debutante Sahara (3.50) was a massive eye-catcher last time out t Goodwood and can score under Oisin Murphy. The well-bred filly has progressed on all three visits to a racetrack and like many of trainer Chris Wall’s, progress when handicapping and this selection should be able to defy an opening mark of 67 accordingly.
Godolphin’s Let’s Go is another fascinating runner now handicapping after making a winning debut last month at Lingfield however the form of that race lacks depth and he is instead overlooked for course and distance winner Istinfaar (4.20). The selection scored over and course and distance on his seasonal debut in April before finishing a promising sixth, beaten just two and a half lengths, on his next start at Sandown. The gelding disappointing last month at Leicester but should be much better than that run and can bounce back on his preferred all-weather surface.
Hanagan can double-up aboard debutante Abhajat (4.50) for the same connections in the maiden over the extended mile. The well-bred daughter of Lope de Vega hails from an excellent family, is a half-sister to three very smart types, and can go some way to paying back her 400,000 guineas price tag this afternoon.
The Turmeric Challenge Trophy is the highlight at this afternoon’s meeting at Catterick where Sir Mark Prescott’s High Secret (4.30) can give weight and a beating to his eight rivals under regular partner Luke Morris. The selection relished the step up to the marathon trip last time out at Kempton and transferred back to turf, can land a fifth career success.